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We are excited to announce that the International Land Conservation Network (ILCN) will be at the Land Trust Alliance’s Rally in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

On Thursday, October 27th (the day before Rally begins), the ILCN will host a daylong session at the Minneapolis Central Library focused on cross-border collaboration for private land conservation. Featuring case studies from Mexico, Canada, the European Union, the United States and others, we will explore successful models and their relevance to the global community. There will also be time to network with other international participants and to discuss how the ILCN may best serve this community.

We invite you to attend this session, but space is limited. If you plan on attending, please contact Emily Myron so that we can hold a spot for you. More information and the agenda will be available on the ILCN’s Calendar of Events in the coming months.

We also strongly encourage you to participate in Rally, which runs October 28-30. This annual gathering offers more than 130 educations sessions focused on land conservation topics, networking events, and field trips. It is a great opportunity to connect with, and learn from, leading conservationists.

We hope to see you there!
In this newsletter:
Highlights from the ILCN
We are excited to share the following stories from ILCN members. If you have a success, story, event, or webinar to share, please contact us at
Creating a Culture of Conservation in Armenia

In a country where privately protected areas are not commonplace and communities are not accustomed to environmental organizations, the Foundation for the Preservation of Wildlife and Cultural Assets (FPWC) in Armenia has been able to change the conservation landscape. Through careful and strategic work addressing tangible conservation outcomes, community and economic development, advocacy, environmental education, and partnerships with local communities, FPWC was able to craft the first comprehensive model for privately protected areas in the South Caucasus region.

The FPWC’s work began in 2006 with the creation of an environmental education program, the Sunchild Project, which, at the height of the program, was present in all 10 regions of Armenia. The Sunchild Project has resulted in a thriving environmental education network, in which children are taught core concepts of environmental studies and invited to create short films on a local environmental issue in the style of investigative journalism. 50 short films have been produced since 2006. Through their education program, as well as subsequent programs to install solar panels on community buildings and convert vulnerable family homes into bed and breakfasts for eco-tourists, the organization has been able to build a strong, positive reputation within local communities.

The FPWC’s initial investment in building trust within local communities paved the way for the FPWC to create the Caucusus Wildlife Refuge, the first privately protected area in Armenia and in the whole South Caucasus region, in 2011. Located just outside the Khosrov Forest State Reserve, this 5,000 hectare refuge is protected through a combination of FPWC ownership (currently about 5% of the area) and long term leases from local communities. Through the leases, the FPWC is able to provide reliable and long-term funding to communities. The organization also employs community members as rangers, and allows sustainable agriculture and foraging in some areas of the refuge. Through this mutually beneficial relationship, the FPWC has successfully conserved crucial wildlife habitat and corridors for species like the Armenian Mouflon, Syrian Brown bear, Black Eurasian vulture, and Caucasian Leopard, as well as has accelerated community development and drawn eco-tourists and researchers to the area. Communities across the region are now inviting the FPWC to work with them, and, as a result, the FPWC continues to expand its reach, with the second ranger station already underway.

In order to ensure the sustainability and permanence of their efforts, the FPWC is working with the Armenian Ministry of Nature Protection to develop amendments to the land code to allow for the legal designation of privately protected areas. As a member of the IUCN, they have also submitted a motion (which has been incorporated into Motion 37) to the upcoming World Conservation Congress to develop an IUCN committee that would support such efforts.

With a staff of 20 and funding sources from around the world, the FPWC’s many successes reveal the power of a community-based approach to private land conservation.

To learn more about the work of the FPWC, please contact Eva Martirosyan, Deputy Director, at

Conservation success for Chilean land trust
For years, conservationists have looked to Chile as a country that has both the potential and the need for a vibrant private land conservation community. However, Chile’s legal and tax systems offer opportunities for considerable improvement in encouraging conservation-minded landowners to take voluntary action to protect their properties. 

In 2012, a private company, Patagonia Sur LLC, made a substantial investment, believing that it could work within the existing legal code to couple low density development with high value land conservation. In Valle California, Patagonia Sur purchased 8,000 acres/3,200 hectares, containing pristine forests, mountains, lakes, and rivers. The company devised a plan to set aside 92% of the property for conservation land and to allow for a maximum of 25 new houses to be built on the remaining 8%. 

In order to achieve this goal, Patagonia Sur supported the creation of one of Chile’s first land trusts – Fundación de Conservación Tierra Austral (Tierra Austral) – using a template for a conservation easement agreement under Chilean law, called the servidumbre voluntaria. The servidumbre is an agreement between two adjacent landowners, and it required Tierra Austral to purchase a small parcel adjacent to the Valle California Reserve, enabling the land trust to hold a servidumbre on the Reserve. 

Just last month, Tierra Austral completed its third year of successful property monitoring of the 8,000 acre area owned by Patagonia Sur and the landowners who have purchased house lots on the Valle California property. Despite changes in staff and leadership, Patagonia Sur remains subject to the terms of the servidumbre, demonstrating that a properly drafted servidumbre can be a meaningful land conservation tool. Similar servidumbre arrangement have been used by The Nature Conservancy to protect land in Chile and in Argentina. Tierra Austral has also been approached by other landowners who are interested in conserving their properties through a servidumbre.

Tierra Austral is one of several organizations that are championing legislation to create the derecho real de conservación (a real right, or real law, of conservation), which would be a flexible, enforceable conservation easement allowing for landowners to voluntarily protect their land through a public or private entity. Unlike the servidumbre, these lands would not have to be adjacent to another conservation landholding. The legislation was introduced with bipartisan support in 2008 and is moving through the National Congress. If passed, this law will have a profound impact on the future of private land conservation in Chile.

To learn more about Tierra Austral, the servidumbre voluntaria, or the proposed derecho real de conservación, please contact Gabriela Franco, Executive Director:
Please take our survey

We are currently compiling a survey of organizations around the world that are engaged in the conservation of private land.

We have published an online global private land conservation database of organizations that protect and/or manage land and natural resources for its ecological, scenic and cultural values, and we are eager to learn more about the organizations and add those that are missing.

If you have already completed our survey (either recently or last year), thank you very much.

If you have not and feel that your organization’s work is in line with the mission of the ILCN, we invite you to please take our brief survey and to share it with relevant partners.
Steering Committee Spotlight 

Tilmann Disselhoff

As a child, Tilmann could be found exploring his grandmother’s garden or watching birds out of his window in Berlin, Germany. One year performing civil service on an island in the North Sea, carrying out bird counts and leading tours, solidified his conservation-related career path.

In 2005/06, Tilmann worked for the European Commission’s LIFE Programme, where he did an analysis on how much of the program’s funding was directed toward purchasing land. When he discovered that about a third of the funds support land purchase, Tilmann quickly realized the important role of private land conservation in Europe. This led him to explore the U.S. private land conservation model and to attend the Land Trust Alliance’s 2011 Rally in Wisconsin. He was struck by the openness of attendees and the tremendous opportunity to learn from one another. Yet, despite over 1,400 attendees, Tilmann was the only representative from Europe. 

Through his attendance at Rally and involvement with founding of Germany’s National Network for Nature, Tilmann connected with a number of private land conservation experts across the US and Europe, which led to his participation in early conversations about creating the International Land Conservation Network. He has been an active member of the ILCN Steering Committee since its inception in 2014 and is particularly interested in the role the ILCN can play to foster a community of practice – allowing practitioners from around the world to learn from each other and develop new instruments to advance the private land conservation movement. 

In addition to his work with the ILCN, Tilmann is working with others across Europe to develop a European land conservation network that would support and increase the exchange of information regarding private land conservation across the region. Tilmann authored the report Alternative Ways to Support Private Land Conservation for the European Commission, is currently a consultant for the Nature And Biodiversity Conservation Union (NABU) in Germany, and is in the last stages of his PhD focused on the land trust movement.
Upcoming Events:

EU Green Week 2016 -- May 30-June 3

Green Week 2016 is focusing on the theme "Investing for a greener future." It hopes to contribute to answering a broader question of how to achieve smart, sustainable and inclusive growth in Europe.

The many facets of green investment will feature throughout the week. Events and activities will take place across Europe, centered round a high-level conference in Brussels on Wednesday, June 1, with a wide variety of organisations and partners taking part. To show how the investments of today can help a "greener future" become a reality, each day of the week will focus on different aspects of the theme. Registration is now open.

Partner Events also take place throughout May and June.

IUCN World Conservation Congress
-- September 1-10 in Honolulu, Hawai’i

Held once every four years, the IUCN World Conservation Congress brings together several thousand leaders and decision-makers from government, civil society, indigenous peoples, business, and academia, with the goal of conserving the environment and harnessing the solutions nature offers to global challenges.
The Congress aims to improve how we manage our natural environment for human, social and economic development. This year’s Congress will be focused on how to achieve the goals adopted in the Paris climate agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals.
IUCN Member organisations may also exercise their rights, influence the global conservation agenda and guide IUCN’s work plan for the four years to follow. This year, they will have the opportunity to vote on Motion 37, proposed by the Specialist Group on Privately Protected Areas and Nature Stewardship of IUCN's World Commission on Protected Areas. This motion will support the development and documentation of privately protected areas around the world.

To encourage dialogue on issues regarding privately protected areas, the Specialist Group has launched a discussion list for news, issues, concerns, and requests for information. The email list is established as a Google Group; if you have a gmail address look for “privatepas.” If you don’t have a Google account, simply email Brent Mitchell, chair of the group, with a request to join. 

Rally 2016 - National Land Conservation Conference
 -- October 28-30 in Minneapolis, MN

Hosted by the Land Trust Alliance, Rally is an annual gathering of nearly 2,000 inspired and passionate land conservation practitioners from the US, Canada, Latin America, Australia and beyond, who are dedicated to conserving cherished places in local communities. Serving as the premier training and networking conference, Rally ’16 offers more than 130 educational sessions focused on land conservation topics, special networking events, field trips highlighting the region’s natural treasures, exhibits, a plenary session presentation, a Welcome Dinner and an awards presentation celebrating conservation leadership. Registration opens in June; sign up here.

The ILCN will host a special session for international participants on Thursday, October 27th at the Minneapolis Central Library. The session will be focused on cross-boundary collaboration. Details to come; please contact Emily Myron for more information or if you plan to attend.

See more on the ILCN's Calendar of Events.

Upcoming Webinars:

Scenario Planning In Theory And Practice -- May 18, 14:00 (GMT)
Scenario development and scenario planning has become increasingly popular over the last decades, within the climate change community but increasingly also in other disciplines. As a result, the number of scenario studies, and approaches and methods used to develop them has exploded. This webinar consists of two main parts to shed light on the different uses of “scenarios”.

More information is available here. Please register to attend the webinar here.

Landscape Planning In Theory And Practice – May 25, 14:00 (GMT)
Landscapes provide a multitude of benefits, or ecosystem services, and are managed for multitude of planning objectives. During this webinar, Dr Louise Willemen (ITC-University of Twente, the Netherlands), will give an overview of the state-of-knowledge on landscape planning & decision making. After describing key theoretical concepts and frameworks of landscapes and decision making (What?), Louise will share practical steps to support the implementation of a collaborative landscape planning process, with a special focus on the role of maps in this (How?).

More information is available here. Please register to attend the webinar here.

Many thanks to our content contributors: Eva Martirosyan (Deputy Director, Foundation for the Preservation of Wildlife and Cultural Assets), Henry Tepper (Consultant, ADS Ventures, Inc.), Gabriela Franco (Executive Director, Fundación de Conservación Tierra Austral), and Tilmann Disselhoff (Consultant, Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union).
The mission of the International Land Conservation Network is to connect organizations and people around the world that are accelerating voluntary private and civic sector action that protects and stewards land and water resources. 
Learn more at

The ILCN in a project of the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy.
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